Mary Katrantzou – seeing is disbelieving

Mary Katrantzou Model Kristy Kaurova

Model Kristy Kaurova

Mary Katrantzou Model Renee Germaine van Seggem

Model Renee Germaine van Seggem

I have blogged before about Fashion as Art which I consider it is – the Haute Couture of Alexander McQueen and Rodarte being but two obvious examples. I had never considered the cross-over of fashion and architecture.

Certainly fashion can be architectural in terms of its structure, but Greek Fashion Designer Mary Katrantzou utilizes interior and exterior décor for the actual design prints of her collections.

She has been showing collections since 2009 and not Haute Couture either but Ready To Wear – if perhaps a brave Ready to Wear with for example her Spring 2011 collection being about ‘the room on the woman’ rather than ‘the woman in the room’! This collection took its inspiration from back-copies of Architectural Digest and World of Interiors where images from them were laid over exquisitely fitted silhouettes.

She gives as her design heroes Coco Chanel, Miuccia Prada and Balenciaga, however even this illustrious triumvirate of design genius won’t prepare you for her own creative collections.

You can see the collection on the London Fashion Week website if in a disappointing grainy stream rather than High Def Video. The clothes are modelled on the runway to the sound of the ‘Polonaise’ by Japanese musician and composer Shigeru Umebayashi – you might know him from film scores such as House of Flying Daggers and Curse of the Golden Flower – his music adding to the exotic things-not-being-quite-what-they seem feel of it all.

Mary Katrantzou Model Ming Xii

Model Ming Xi

The pictures in this post are taken from her Spring 2011 collection – each collection though is worth checking out in great detail as a pure visual and creative feast. And of the collection featured here, with 26 pieces in all, the difficulty was what to leave out – you can see the entire collection though on Style.

Mary Katrantzou Model Karolina Mikolajczyk

Model Karolina Mikolajczyk

Some of her designs play visual tricks on the eye – a model is wearing a necklace but is it a plain necklace with the brass fixtures part of the print on on her top, or is the brass fixture her actual necklace – 2D or 3D that is the question!

The prints themselves may run the entire length of the dress or be two different prints, one for the bodice area, one for the skirt area. I could provide descriptions but these though are pieces best seen for yourselves to make your own mind up about what it is you are seeing, what it is you think you are seeing.

On the London Fashion Week site there is a profile q&a with her – currently she has no website – or rather one under construction (and which you can download a pressbook which is well worth doing so presenting as it does her work to date in the printed fashion press in pictures and words) – and on the question of what is next for her brand she answers ‘a new website’.

I cannot wait for what is sure to be a website not quite what it seems.

Mary Katrantzou Model Olga Cerpeta

Model Olga Cerpeta

Mary Katrantzou Model Charlotte Wiggins

Model Charlotte Wiggins